Spirit of a Knight Blade Chapter 4
By Lia Strife
The sun shone brightly on Riovanes castle, and the day was warm and pleasant. Izlude took a deep breath of the fresh air, devoid of the metallic smell of blood, and silent except for the quiet chirping of birds. If only it could always be this way I had thought there were no places left in Ivalice not tainted forever by war Izlude thought, getting off his Chocobo. He had been riding hard for five days, and both he and Alma were left drained by the trip. He extended a hand to Alma to help her get off the Chocobo.
"So, this is it, huh ? Well, um, I guess it was nice meeting you " she said, accepting the hand and hopping lightly off the chocobo.
Izlude scratched his head, flustered, and started walking towards the large doors of the castle.
"Yes it was nice meeting you, too. I am truly sorry that we couldn't have met on better terms," Izlude replied, keeping his tone polite.
Over the past few days, Alma and he had become 'friends,' and despite the fact that she was a hostage of sorts, she had gone along quietly.
Alma nodded regretfully.
"Maybe after the war is over we'll meet again someday. Hey, get that frown off your face! It's not like you're marching to your execution or something!" she joked lightheartedly, following after Izlude.
Izlude sighed and smiled slightly.
"I suppose you're right. Come on then, my father will be waiting "
A young man with black hair and foreign clothing stepped out from behind a wall.
"Are you Izlude? Izlude Tingel?" he asked, approaching them slowly.
Izlude stood up straight and tall, and put a hand on the hilt of his sword.
"I am he, what business do you have with me?" he replied.
The young man smiled slyly.
"Come with me your father told me to come find you. First, give the girl to the guards. They'll deal with her from now on."
The young man snapped his fingers and two knights approached from the gates, stopping right behind Izlude. He nodded bluntly and they took Alma away, once again kicking and screaming. Sorry, Alma. Izlude thought, there's nothing I can do this time.
The young man bowed politely.
"Forgive me, Sir Izlude, I haven't even introduced myself yet. My name is Malak "
He extended a hand to shake. Izlude put his hand in Malak's, but instead of Malak shaking his hand, he pulled a dagger from his clothing and held it to Izlude's neck.
"And I've come for your Holy Stones."
Malak dragged Izlude through many hallways in the castle, not speaking. Malak had taken the stones Taurus and Scorpio, but that was not all that he took. Malak had taken Izlude's pride as a Knight Blade, and showed him the cost of trust. If father sees me like this I don't know what he'll do. He threatened to kill me before and I heard honesty in those words. Izlude thought. Malak stopped at a door along the hallway.
"Well, this is our stop," he said grimly, swinging open the door and pushing Izlude through.
A portly man stood at the other end of the room, Barinten, Izlude remembered, two knights, his father, and to his amazement, Wiegraf. I practically saw him die! How did he manage to make it out alive? he thought in disbelief.
Izlude walked down the stairs to stand next to his father. Vormav had a disapproving frown on his face.
"F-Father I'm sorry," Izlude stammered, not recognizing the strange gleam in his father's eyes.
Vormav didn't look at him.
" I see," was all he said, looking straight at Barinten.
Barinten smiled, amused at Vormav's discomfort.
"We have 'Scorpio' and 'Taurus,'" he said, shifting his glance to Izlude.
Vormav turned around to look at his son, a deadpan expression on his face that quickly flashed to an infuriated scowl.
"Moron!!" he yelled, slapping Izlude across the face.
Izlude was thrown to the ground, and he dared not rise.
Father what happened to you to change so? Why? What is it about me that makes you so angry, Father? What have I done? Izlude cried inwardly, not moving so much as a muscle.
A knight stepped in to the room and saluted Barinten.
"Excuse me, Sir! We verified the intruder's identity!" the knight said.
Barinten nodded at Malak.
"Malak, I'll let you take care of him," he said offhandedly, waving the knight away. Malak scurried after the knight, his wanting to leave made apparent by the expression on his face.
"What do you want?" Vormav snarled, finished with waiting.
Barinten sat down and sighed.
"As I said before, we want to help you, too," Barinten said, gesturing at Vormav.
Vormav frowned irritably.
"What if I refuse?"
"The Church's injustice will be exposed. That's all," Barinten replied smoothly.
Injustice? What injustice? The man speaks lies! Izlude thought, gritting his teeth angrily.
"You can't prove it just with the Holy Stones," he said.
What!? What is he saying? We have done nothing wrong! We can't have! Izlude thought, gasping inwardly.
"Exactly. But, how about with the 'Germonik Scriptures'? Larg, Goltana, and the senate ought to be interested..." Barinten said, sounding almost bored.
"Where is it?" he asked, sounding as if he was struggling to restrain himself from ripping the man's throat out.
"I can't tell you," he replied simply.
Vormav narrowed his eyes.
"Wiegraf, go after the wizard. I'll take care of here," he said in a low, menacing voice.
Wiegraf walked out the door with little fanfare, and Barinten stood up quickly.
"Don't do anything funny! The odds are against you!" he exclaimed.
Vormav laughed as if Barinten had just said the most ridiculous thing in existence.
"Odds? What do you think you weak humans can do?" he chortled.
H humans? What ? Has he gone mad? Izlude thought, horrified.
"Father?" he whispered. Vormav glanced at him briefly.
"Don't underestimate us. Killing you is easy..." Vormav trailed off, stepping towards Barinten.
"Are you opposing me!?" Barinten yelled, fearing for his life.
He knew that there was no way he could beat a Shrine Knight. The two knights in the room drew their swords and approached Vormav, and two more burst in through the door, surrounding the deadly knight of Glabados. A thunderclap rang through the room, though the sun still shone gaily through the windows.
"Want to fight...? Fine. I'll show you the power of the Holy Stone!" Vormav bellowed, pulling a yellow stone from his robes.
The stone began to glow, and Izlude could feel its pull again. Bright light surrounded Vormav, and Izlude covered his eyes to protect them from the glare. When he opened them again, a lion-like demon stood in his father's place, horrible and gruesome. A name flashed though Izlude's mind, filling him both with amazement and sheer horror.
Lucavi The heretic he was right.
"Wha what are you?" Barinten stuttered, pulling a gun from a fold in his clothing.
The Lucavi laughed, sending chills down Izlude's spine.
"I am Hashmalum, human. I am your worst nightmare " he growled.
Izlude stood up silently and moved into the corner, drawing his sword.
"What have you done with my father, beast? Where is he? What have you done to him!?" Izlude yelled.
Hashmalum turned to Izlude and laughed again.
"Stupid fool! I am your father! Don't you see? The Zodiac stone has given me more power than I ever imagined!"
Izlude nearly threw up. This this monster was his father? I cannot fight him. He is my father!
"And now, I shall send you all to the other side!" Hashmalum bellowed, firing some kind of energy at the nearest knight. The knight screamed in pain and was no more, falling to the ground in a bloody heap.
"Kill him!" Barinten screeched, teleporting out of the room.
The knights advanced bravely, swords held high. Hashmalum raked his six-inch claws across the chest of one knight, sending him flying across the room.
"Die, you wretched thing!" another screamed.
It was the last words he ever spoke. He was silenced by a blast of magic so strong it made the air itself ripple and blacken. The last knight was impaled by his own sword, which Hashmalum grabbed and plunged through the unfortunate man's chest. It was all over for the knights.
Izlude drew his sword and held it in trembling hands. Hashmalum turned to him, a horrible grin on his face.
"Ha, ha, ha what do you think you can do, boy?" he said, slowly approaching Izlude. "You know that you cannot raise a sword against me you don't even have the strength to disobey me! You are nothing, boy! Nothing!"
Izlude swallowed hard.
"Y you're wrong " he whispered. "I I am not nothing."
Izlude sank down into a battle stance. "My father is dead to me now and as for you, Hashmalum, you're mine!!" he screamed, charging towards the Zodiac demon.
Hashmalum swung his paw at Izlude, but he dodged it and sent a blow of his own, leaving a deep gash in Hashmalum's arm, and he continued running.
"You cannot defeat me I am immortal!" Hashmalum bellowed, raking his claws across Izlude's exposed back, causing him to scream in agony. It was music to Hashmalum's ears.
"Only God is immortal! There is a way to kill everything else! So says the teachings of Glabados!" Izlude shouted back, swinging his sword again with renewed vigor.
"Moron. Don't you see? Your faith is misplaced! There is no 'God,' you dolt!" Hashmalum replied, swiping Izlude's sword out of his grasp. "The church is all a lie!"
"You're wrong! You have no faith, and are worse than the lowest of scum!" he screamed, running for his sword.
"One step closer to hell! Spell!" Hashmalum roared.
Izlude froze in place, his muscles locked and numb.
"And now, fool, you die. And, oh yes your sister shall be joining you in hell shortly."
Izlude wanted to scream, but he couldn't speak. No! Not Meliadoul! he thought, both heart and body in agony. Slowly, Izlude felt the feeling return to his limbs.
"Ba st a r d " Izlude muttered, forcing his vocal cords to move. His left eye flared crimson. "To uch my sis .te r .an d I wi ll . kill you!"
Hashmalum roared in frustration.
"Impossible! You're just a human ?" Hashmalum said, trailing off in confusion as he saw Izlude's mismatched gaze.
"Prepare to die ! But mark my words, I won't let you escape from me forever!"
Hashmalum raised his paws and unleashed a wave of black energy, throwing Izlude across the room and into the wall.
Izlude's world spiraled into blissful darkness.
Alma stepped into the room where Izlude was, stunned speechless by the sight of the knight's corpses.
" .uhn uhnn " someone groaned in agony.
Alma rushed down the stairs and saw Izlude leaning against a wall. He was covered in his own blood, and was breathing shallowly. Alma rushed to his side, not sure of what to do.
"Are you all right!?" she cried, shocked by his condition.
Izlude groaned, face screwed up in pain. Alma bit back a flood of tears she was sure would burst forth.
"S...sword...where is it? Must....beat...him.... Please...give me some light. So dark...can't see a thing," Izlude moaned.
He coughed, blood pouring from his mouth.
"Don't worry. No need to fight anymore," she whispered, grasping his hand.
"Tell your brother...the stone...has 'evil power'... He's not...my father...the power made him...Lucavi......" Izlude coughed again, more blood spilling from his mouth.
"Please don't try to talk..." Alma said, tears leaking down her cheeks.
Izlude ignored her warning.
"What Ramza said was true... The world will end...if we don't kill him... Tell everyone...not time to fight....must cooperate... W, where's...my sword? ...Can't move...my arms," Izlude mumbled, voice quieting with every word.
"Don't worry. I saw 'his' body in the hall. My brother killed him. So you don't need to fight," Alma replied, trying to comfort the dying Knight Blade.
Izlude closed his eyes and smiled.
"Really? That's a relief... The stone is...in my robes. Give it....to your brother..." he said, his breathing becoming shallower. Alma wiped her tear-streaked cheeks on the back of her hand and took the stone from his robes.
"I'll be sure to do that," she whispered, lowering her head.
Izlude did not open his eyes.
"Ugh...tired...sleepy......just rest now..." Izlude whispered.
His head dropped to his chest and his muscles went slack.
The Knight Blade was no more.
"Izlude!" Meliadoul screamed, running through the hallways of Riovanes castle. "Brother, where are you? Answer me! Izlude!!"
It had been an hour since Meliadoul heard the news of the massacre. Ramza, the heretic, had stormed the castle and killed all those inside, and she prayed Izlude was not one of the casualties. She had searched nearly every room in the castle frantically, but Izlude was nowhere to be found. She came to an opened door in the hallway, and she burst through. The bodies of four knights lay on the ground, and she descended the steps cautiously.
She glanced to her right and saw the body of another knight, this one in golden armor with a green surcoat.
"Izlude! NO!!!!" she screamed, running to his side. "Izlude! Wake up! Izlude!!!"
Izlude did not stir, his face a mask. She placed a hand on his face, but drew it away with an anguished cry. It was so cold. His once lively face would never smile again; his eyes would never shed another tear or laugh again. "B Brother " She sobbed, raising her face to the roof.
"Heretic Ramza " She whispered. "Heretic Ramza, when we meet .!" She raised her voice. "Your blood is mine!!"
Thus ends the first life of Knight Blade Izlude Tingel, Shrine Knight of Glabados.
And begins another.
Touch it just so
And dream a dream
That melts in the morning)
-From 'Suteki da Ne'
Lia Strife's Fanfiction